The former face of Channel 4’s flagship racing programme, XYZ, was given the go-ahead by an Employment Judge at the end of June to pursue his £3 million claim for age discrimination and unfair dismissal.
The former Channel 4 racing pundit brought the claim after he alleged that he had been sacked because of his age and that he had had his contract with Channel 4 unfairly terminated after the contract for the production of the racing programme switched between companies. The matter went to a Pre-Hearing Review last month after there was a legal conflict over whom McCririck had been employed by during his employment and when it had terminated.
Pre-Hearing Reviews are held in the Employment Tribunal to decide on matters of jurisdiction – they are normally considered “gateways” to a full Employment Tribunal hearing.
Channel 4 had argued in the Pre-Hearing Review in the Central London Employment Tribunal that it had not been the employer of Mr McCririck and that another of the companies had actually employed him. However, the Employment Judge rejected that argument and found that Mr McCririck had in fact been employed by Channel 4. After the Tribunal judgment Mr McCririck claimed that he had “won a significant opening skirmish against the suits and the skirts who control Channel 4”.
Channel 4 also commented on the Pre-Hearing Review, stating that “We note the outcome of this preliminary hearing which had no bearing on the central issue of alleged age discrimination. We reject the suggestion that discrimination on the basis of age played any part in the decision not to include John McCririck in the Channel 4 Racing team from 2013 and we will continue to vigorously defend this claim.”